Armed Forces of the Philippines - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Armed Forces of the Philippines

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IN VIDEOS: Thousands of cops, soldiers given send-off for Bangsamoro plebiscite duty

Jan 18, 2019 - 4:13 PM

An elaborate ceremony marks the start of intensified deployments for securing the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite

CONCENTRATED. Cops and police gather in Camp Siongco in Awang, Maguindanao for their send-off to protecting the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

AFP, PNP hold lockdown drill in Lanao del Norte ahead of Bangsamoro plebiscite

Jan 18, 2019 - 10:17 AM

Military officials say the unannounced joint exercise is part of preparations to ensure a peaceful, orderly plebiscite

'LOCKDOWN'. Police and soldiers man a checkpoint in Matungao town, Lanao del Norte, during a simulated exercise on January 16, 2019, ahead of the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

20,000 soldiers, cops to secure Bangsamoro plebiscite

Jan 17, 2019 - 9:25 AM

They are expected to protect around 2.8 million voters in the plebiscite to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law

MORE TROOPS. The police and military will focus on securing the 2.8 million people expected to vote in the Bangsamoro plebiscite. File photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

[EDITORIAL]: #AnimatED: A dozen wishes for 2019

Jan 14, 2019 - 9:00 AM

We have our own wishes for the country, its leaders, and key institutions. What are yours?

[OPINION] Proposed review of PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty: Opening a Pandora's box

Dec 31, 2018 - 12:37 PM

A veritable Pandora’s box of nasty surprises would be opened once the Philippines pushes for renegotiations. Is that what the majority of Filipinos want?

11 soldiers wounded in Compostela Valley clash with NPA

Dec 26, 2018 - 9:45 PM

(UPDATED) The soldiers encounter the rebels from the New People's Army while surveying Mount Diwata in Compostela Valley

AFP clashes with NPA in Davao on Christmas Day

Dec 26, 2018 - 9:00 AM

The military did not declare a ceasefire and the New People's Army was ordered to escalate attacks after martial law was extended in Mindanao

CHRISTMAS CLASH. The Armed Forces of the Philippines faces the New People's Army in an armed encounter on Christmas Day. Rappler file photo

Military calls for vigilance as CPP celebrates 50th anniversary

Dec 25, 2018 - 5:46 PM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines urges Filipinos to 'remain vigilant against attacks' by the Communist Party of the Philippines as it marks its 50th anniversary on Wednesday, December 26

'TERRORIST ORGANIZATION.' The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army is declared a terrorist group through a proclamation signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in December 2017. Rappler file photo by Edwin Espejo

Magdalo seeks House probe into alleged AFP arms sale to rebels, terrorists

Dec 21, 2018 - 4:39 PM

'To preserve the honor, integrity, and the dignity of the whole AFP, and most importantly, to preserve the lives of our soldiers who have offered their lives to serve out nation,' says Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano

Police, military to jointly probe into gunrunners controversy

Dec 17, 2018 - 7:56 PM

The gunrunners are said to have gotten ammunition from the AFP's armory in Fort Magsaysay through a 'retired soldier'

Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

LOOK: AFP guns, ammo found with rebel groups suppliers

Dec 17, 2018 - 6:53 PM

Police confiscate guns and ammunition worth up to P1.2 million in boxes marked 'Philippine Army'. These are seized from alleged smugglers for the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf Group

SMUGGLED FROM WITHIN? The confiscated bullets and guns are presented in Camp Crame on Monday, December 17. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

Guns, bullets seized from rebel suppliers traced to military

Dec 17, 2018 - 4:10 PM

The PNP says the firearms and ammunition in the boxes are labeled 'AFP', 'GOVERNMENT PROPERTY,' and 'PHILIPPINE ARMY'

MILITARY EQUIPMENT. The confiscated bullets and guns are presented in Camp Crame on Monday, December 17. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

LIST: Duterte's top military, police appointees

Dec 15, 2018 - 9:00 AM

Here are the former military and police generals appointed by President Duterte to key posts in government

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte administers the oath to newly-appointed Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista during a ceremony at the Malacañan Palace on October 17, 2018. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Military rule in Duterte's homeland

Dec 14, 2018 - 5:50 PM

What has martial law in Mindanao accomplished so far?

In 2018, Duterte turns to military for (almost) everything

Dec 12, 2018 - 3:21 PM

With 2018 ending, Duterte's Cabinet is now one-third former military and police men. He has turned to ex-generals to 'fix' Boracay and soldiers to overhaul the Bureau of Customs.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte does a test fire on one of the sniper rifles donated by the Chinese government while the troops conduct a sniping capability demonstration during his visit at Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija on November 22, 2017. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

[OPINION] Martial Law Part 4!

Dec 11, 2018 - 11:25 PM

It’s beginning to look a lot like this administration is incapable of solving a problem, not because the AFP lacks the ability or the will to, but because the political leaders lack the political will or incentive to solve it

Guns not only answer vs NPA, says next military chief Madrigal

Dec 06, 2018 - 2:25 PM

Incoming Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Benjamin Madrigal Jr says he will push for a 'people-centered strategy' in battling the communist New People's Army

LOCAL APPROACH. Incoming AFP chief Lieutenant General Benjamin Madrigal Jr wants all agencies onboard in stopping communist insurgency across the Philippines. AFP Eastmincom photo

Military's 2022 plan: New army division vs Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

Dec 05, 2018 - 6:46 PM

The 11th Infantry Division will focus on the island province of Sulu, which has been a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf and other terror groups

MORE TROOPS. Army troopers from the 30th Infantry Battalion in a file photo during a battalion formation at its headquarters in Placer, Surigao del Norte on August 2, 2016. File photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

Benjamin Madrigal Jr is next AFP chief – Año

Dec 05, 2018 - 5:45 AM

Benjamin Madrigal Jr has been commander of the Davao-based Eastern Mindanao Command since November 2017

Mindanao residents slam AFP, PNP recommendation to extend martial law

Dec 03, 2018 - 6:47 PM

Groups say martial law has supposedly led to an increase in fake charges and abuses against community members

Leaders of the Barug Katungod Mindanao composed of mostly lumads, farmers, church workers and human rights defenders oppose the extension of martial law in Mindanao as newly proposed by the AFP December 3, 2018. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Makabayan bloc eyes case vs Galvez for red-tagging France Castro

Dec 03, 2018 - 4:26 PM

ACT Teachers Representative France Castro says she would hold AFP chief General Carlito Galvez Jr accountable should anything bad happen to her

NOT A COMMUNIST. ACT Teachers Representative France Castro (center) attends work at the House since her brief detention in Davao del Norte over the weekend. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

AFP, PNP to recommend Mindanao martial law extension

Dec 03, 2018 - 10:55 AM

'There is really a clamor for the extension considering that the terrorism is still lurking in the area,' says Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Carlito Galvez Jr

IN UNISON. PNP chief Oscar Albayalde and AFP chief Carlito Galvez say their agencies need a longer martial law implementation so they can continue to secure Mindanao. Photos by Darren Langit and Angie de Silva/Rappler

Military says mandatory ROTC to stop NPA recruitment in schools

Nov 29, 2018 - 6:55 PM

'Mas mabibigyan natin ng kamalayan, ng kamulatan ang ating kababayan, lalong-lalo na ang ating kabataan,' says Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Edgard Arevalo

REBELS WANTED. New Peoples Army guerrillas march in Davao City to celebrate the 48th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines in December 2016. Photo by Edwin Espejo

Army division commanders to run 'Anti-Sparrow Unit' – Lorenzana

Nov 28, 2018 - 7:15 PM

The defense chief says the President's order will be carried out 'as soon as possible'

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to troopers during his visit at Camp Rajah Sikatuna in Carmen, Bohol on November 27, 2018. Also in the photo are Presidential Adviser for Military Affairs Arthur Tabaquero, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Chairperson Eduardo del Rosario and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

More troop deployment 'answered prayer' for Samar – congressman

Nov 28, 2018 - 6:50 PM

Samar 1st District Representative Edgar Mary Sarmiento welcomes President Duterte's order but says the troops should not have ties to local bets in the 2019 polls

SAMAR CONGRESSMAN. Samar 1st District Representativ Edgar Mary Sarmiento welcomes the deployment of more troops to election hotspots like his province. Photo from the Facebook page of Edgar Mary Sarmiento

After helicopter crash, lawmaker calls for 'genuine' AFP modernization

Nov 26, 2018 - 7:10 PM

COOP-NATCCO Representative Anthony Bravo, who was involved in the recent crash of a military helicopter in Tarlac, says the Armed Forces of the Philippines must be developed in all aspects

Rep Anthony Bravo delivers a privilege speech on Monday, November 26, 2018, after the helicopter he was riding along with former House secretary general Cesar Pareja crashed at Crow Valley in Capas, Tarlac on Nov 22. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

More soldiers key to stopping armed groups in Samar – military officer

Nov 25, 2018 - 7:55 PM

Major General Raul Farnacio says 'taking extreme measures' is necessary 'because circumstances demand it'

Robredo questions Duterte order vs 'lawless violence'

Nov 25, 2018 - 5:47 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo says Malacañang should justify its use of the term 'lawless violence,' as many people worry about creeping martial law

QUESTIONS. Vice President Leni Robredo says government should also answer questions on why there has been more activity among communist insurgents in the last two years. Photo by OVP

Military, MILF prepare to secure Bangsamoro vote vs violence

Nov 24, 2018 - 10:24 AM

Military officials and Moro Islamic Liberation Front leaders discuss security preparations for the January 2019 plebiscite during the historic Camp Aguinaldo visit of MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim

END OF WAR. Philippine military chief General Carlito Galvez Jr and MILF Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces chief Sammy Al Mansour at a news briefing in Camp Aguinaldo on November 19, 2018. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

Duterte orders more soldiers, cops in Bicol, Samar, Negros Island

Nov 23, 2018 - 9:47 AM

(UPDATED) This is to 'suppress lawless violence and acts of terror' in those areas, according to Memorandum Order 32 which also reinforces guidelines for the implementation of a state of national emergency

MORE TROOP DEPLOYMENT. President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered more government troops in parts of Luzon and the Visayas to quell 'lawless violence' and terrrorism. Photo from Richard Madleo/Presidential Photo

AFP chief Galvez seeks OPAPP post after retirement

Nov 19, 2018 - 3:55 PM

General Carlito Galvez Jr, a strong advocate of the peace process in Mindanao, says he wants to continue dialogues with rebel groups after his retirement on December 12

PEACE ADVOCATE. Armed Forces chief General Carlito Galvez Jr holds a joint press conference with MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim on November 19, 2018. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

Military rolls out red carpet for Murad before crucial plebiscite

Nov 19, 2018 - 1:25 PM

In a historic first, the military welcomes MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim to Camp Aguinaldo two months before the January 21 Bangsamoro plebiscite

HISTORIC FIRST. Armed Forces chief General Carlito Galvez Jr welcomes MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim in Camp Aguinaldo on Monday, November 19. This is a return visit after MILF welcomed Galvez in Camp Darapanan in October. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena / Rappler

5 soldiers killed in Sulu while rescuing hostages from Abu Sayyaf

Nov 17, 2018 - 5:18 PM

The Abu Sayyaf is now believed to hold 'less than 10' hostages, according to the military

KILLED. 5 Filipino soldiers were killed on November 16, 2018, in Jolo, Sulu, while rescuing hostages from terror group Abu Sayyaf.

Galvez says gains in Mindanao 'cannot be sustained' without martial law

Nov 16, 2018 - 5:06 PM

AFP chief Carlito Galvez Jr supports another extension of martial law to make victory 'complete' and achievements in Mindanao 'irreversible'

SUPPORT EXTENSION. AFP Chief General Carlito Galvez Jr says the extension of martial law in Mindanao is needed to make growth and gains in the area 'irreversible.' Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Congressman tells army to surface missing militant

Nov 05, 2018 - 9:29 PM

Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao says the Army has in its custody Imelda Hayahay, but the 71st Infantry Battalion denies the accusation

[EDITORIAL] #AnimatED: May military junta ba sa Pilipinas?

Nov 05, 2018 - 9:30 AM

Mahimbing pa rin ba ang tulog natin kapag nakopo na ng mga sundalo ang pagpapalakad ng gobyerno?

Duterte rejects hazing: 'I don’t need my soldiers, police dehumanized'

Nov 01, 2018 - 7:25 PM

President Duterte says he ordered the dismissal of police involved in a form of hazing he finds detestable

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte sings the Philippine national anthem during the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Change of Command Ceremony at the PSG Compound in Malacañang Park, Manila on May 30, 2018. Also in the photo is newly-installed PSG Commander Colonel Jose Eriel Niembra. Malacañang Photo

Duterte awaits PNP, AFP advice on martial law extension in Mindanao

Oct 31, 2018 - 4:51 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says a martial law extension in Mindanao will help secure the May 2019 elections and the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law in January

MORE MARTIAL LAW? President Rodrigo Duterte is waiting for the recommendation of his top military and police officers to decide on martial law extension in Mindanao. Malacañang file photo

Bureau of Customs corruption counts as 'lawless violence' – Malacañang

Oct 30, 2018 - 12:33 PM

(UPDATED) The Palace provides a new justification for why President Rodrigo Duterte can call on the Armed Forces to take over the bureau

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte bows his head in prayer during the 60th Founding Anniversary of the Social Security System (SSS) at the SSS Building in Quezon City on September 6, 2017. Also in the photo are Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III, SSS Chairman Dean Amado Valdez and SSS President and CEO Emmanuel Dooc. Malacañan Photo

Gordon to Malacañang: Clarify role of military in Customs

Oct 30, 2018 - 11:57 AM

'Dapat ilinaw muna ng Malacañang kung anong gagawin ng military,' says Senator Richard Gordon even as he defended President Rodrigo Duterte's order for the military to take over a civilian agency

SENATE PROBE ON MISSING DRUGS. Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, presides the hearing on the missing shabu shipment on October 30, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Soldiers in Customs? But Constitution bars civilian assignments for military

Oct 29, 2018 - 8:53 PM

Section 5(4), Article XVI specifically says no member of the armed forces shall, at any time, be appointed or designated in any capacity to a civilian position

MILITARY TAKEOVER? President Rodrigo wants a military takeover of the Bureau of Customs following scandals of billions worth of shabu getting past the bureau's watch for two consecutive years. Photo by Rappler

Lawmakers hit military 'takeover' of BOC: 'Martial law na ba?'

Oct 29, 2018 - 4:00 PM

'It's an extreme response, putting a purely civilian bureaucracy under military control. It's as if President Duterte has imposed nationwide martial law,' says Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin

LIKE MARTIAL LAW? President Rodrigo Roa Duterte salutes one of the awardees during his visit to Camp Juan Ponce Sumuroy in Catarman, Northern Samar on October 2, 2018. File pohoto by Robinson Niāal Jr/Presidential Photo

Military takeover of Customs only 'temporary' – AFP

Oct 29, 2018 - 2:24 PM

'These are extraordinary times that would require extraordinary measures,' says AFP spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo

'TEMPORARY'. The military will stay as long as the former army chief needs them, says military spokesman Edgard Arevalo. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

One week enough for military to learn how to run customs bureau – Panelo

Oct 29, 2018 - 2:20 PM

'If you're intelligent enough, you will learn fast,' says Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, downplaying concerns of what impact a military takeover at the Bureau of Customs will have on its operations

CARGOS. Bureau of Customs officials at work at the Port of Manila. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

Guevarra: AFP 'takeover' of customs does not violate civilian rule

Oct 29, 2018 - 12:39 PM

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says the current Bureau of Customs head, former military chief Rey Guerrero, is 'now a civilian'

Duterte says military men to 'take over' Customs

Oct 29, 2018 - 1:00 AM

'It will be a takeover of the Armed Forces in the matter of operating...while we are sorting out how to effectively meet the challenges of corruption in this country,' says President Rodrigo Duterte

Bureau of Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña and PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino extract the alleged shabu worth P3.4 billion inside steel cases during a press conference at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in Port Area, Manila on August 7, 2018. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

3 Marines, 1 Abu Sayyaf killed in Sulu clash

Oct 26, 2018 - 1:50 PM

Troops from the 61st, 62nd, and 64th Marine Companies clash with the Abu Sayyaf in Barangay Timpook, Patikul

Rappler Talk: Resisting red-tagging in universities

Oct 26, 2018 - 11:15 AM

Rappler sits down with UP VP Jose Dalisay and ADMU VP Jaime Hofileña to discuss the role of universities in protecting democracy

AFP chief sees CPP-NPA hand in Sagay massacre

Oct 25, 2018 - 5:10 PM

Communists may have fired an 'agitation shot' that catalyzed the shooting of the Negros Occidental farmers, says military chief Lt General Carlito Galvez

BLOODIED LAND. Gunmen kill 9 farmers occupying a space of Hacienda Nene in Sagay City, Negros Occidental. Photos from PNP Western Visayas

Duterte to military, police: 'Don't indulge in partisan politics'

Oct 15, 2018 - 7:51 PM

'This election, strictly neutral tayong lahat...Wala tayong susuportahan,' President Rodrigo Duterte says during an Army turnover ceremony

NEUTRALITY ORDERED. President Rodrigo Duterte speaking at the Philippine Army Command Turnover Ceremony on October 15, 2018 in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. RTVM screenshot.